Sustained demand in all segments of the market was the hallmark of the Arqana breeding stock sale, Europe's final major auction of 2013, which ended its four-day stand Dec. 10 with record figures for the second straight year.
A large international buying bench from all over Europe, Australia, the United States, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Qatar, and the Mediterranean, bought 686 of the 846 mares, fillies, and foals offered for an 81% clearance rate, a 7.5% increase when compared with last year's sale.
Total receipts rose 32% to €27,298,500 ($37,570,267 in U.S. funds), while average price was up 18% to €38,532 ($38,532). The median price increased 8.3% to €13,000 ($17,890).
"The year has concluded on a very positive note and is in line with the trend observed in the bloodstock market at the end of year," Arqana chairman Eric Hoyeau said. "Figures have reached an unprecedented level.
"Demand was very strong for all mare and foal profiles and the sale once again demonstrated its ability to maximize the value of quality horses, with 64 lots sold for €100,000 ($137,623) or more, compared to 40 last year," he added. "Studs such as Wertheimer and Frère and the Aga Khan Studs were very aware of this, selling almost exclusively at Deauville."
The sale's highest price came on opening day, Dec. 7, when British bloodstock agent Johnny McKeever went to €800,000 ($1,096,446) for Darysina, a Kentucky-bred daughter of two-time U.S. leading sire Smart Strike.
The 3-year-old filly out of 1999 Prix de Diane (Fr-I, French Oaks) winner Daryaba was acquired on behalf of Dr. Philip Brown. Offered in the consignment of her breeder, Aga Khan Studs, Darysina is a half sister to 2009 Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) victress Daryakana.
The sale's fourth day was geared toward horses with a National Hunt profile. There were 88 horses sold for €878,000 ($1,208,408), an average of €9,977 ($13,731).
The breeding stock sale brought an end to a year of overall growth for Arqana.
Hoyeau said the auction company enjoyed a more than 20% rise in sales in 2013.
"This superb breeding stock sale is the highlight of an outstanding (Arqana sales) season, which generated a turnover of €105,420,200 ($145,086,370), a figure which experienced tremendous growth of 22%," he explained. "Of the 3,142 horses presented for sale in 2013 almost 79.5% of them changed hands for an average price of €42,219 ($58,100), up by 14.5% compared to last year."